10 Origins of Famous Jokes

10 Origins of Famous Jokes 10 Light Bulb Jokes How many Youtubers does it take to screw in a light bulb? We’ll tell you after the midroll ad break! The lightbulb joke typically exists to mock members of a certain group, highlighting the humorous and often offensive stereotypes that surround them

The joke is a bi-product of a more specific set of jokes from the US in the 60s, that centred around the stereotype of the ‘dumb Polack’ It’s believed that the first lightbulb jokes originated in this period As for the origin of the Polish stereotype, it comes from a considerably less funny place: Adolf Hitler Worried the rest of Europe would condemn their plans to conquer Poland, the Nazis spread propaganda intended as comedic, representing the Polish people as stupid and inferior After the war, the Polack archetype spread to America and spawned the light bulb joke you’re now too guilty to use

9 Doctor Doctor ‘Doctor doctor’ jokes revolve around a peculiar ailment and a wholly unhelpful diagnosis from a medical professional As one of the oldest professions, it’s safe to assume the ‘Doctor doctor’ jokes have a long history, but they actually go back as far as Roman times The world’s oldest surviving joke book dates to the Third Century AD and contains 265 side splitting gags Professor Mary Beard, a classicist at Newcastle University has focused on the ‘Laughter of Love’ manuscript in a study of humour in the ancient Roman and Greek world

She believes the book can refute the perception of romans as ‘toga-wearing bridge-builders’ One particular joke in said manuscript is widely accepted as the first ‘doctor’ joke It translates from greek as: ""Doctor, whenever I get up, I feel dizzy for half an hour, then I'm fine"" And the doctor replies: ""Then wait for half an hour before getting up"" On second thoughts, perhaps they should stick to bridge-building

8 The Chicken joke Probably the most famous joke in history, the real meaning of chicken joke is commonly missed In case you’ve lived under a rock your whole life, the joke is as follows: ‘Why did the chicken cross the road? To get to the other side’ This plays on the double meaning of ‘the other side’, both as the other side of the road and the ‘other side’ in a spiritual sense Effectively, it’s a joke about a chicken that doesn’t want to live anymore

But for a joke so famous and surprisingly tragic, its origin is strangely simple Its first appearance was in a comedy magazine called The Knickerbocker in 1847 Perhaps not surprising so far But the page that spawned the joke was titled “Gossip with Readers and Correspondents” Yes, the most famous joke in history was reader submitted

Their name has been lost to time, but it goes to show how anyone can make history, it just takes a letter 7 Not! This next joke is the height of intellectual comedy Not See? This hilarious joke was popularized by Saturday Night Live, most famously in Mike Myers’ Wayne’s World Sketches It’s heavily associated with many peoples memories of the 90’s, and so it should be, just not those 90’s The first known appearance of the format was in the comedy magazine The Princeton Tiger in 1893 While the context is unknown, the punchline was “An historical Parallel… Not

” So it seems that joke has just never been funny But in an interview, Mike Myers claims to have received mail from a mathematician, claiming otherwise The fan claims to have traced the formula of the joke back to Sir Thomas Bodley, an English scholar who died in 1613 Myers hasn’t shared his source, and no evidence has been provided to support the claim, so it’s best taken with a pinch of salt 6

Russian Reversal Joke In Soviet Russia, channel subscribes to you! This joke revolves around the grammatical construction where ‘in America, you perform a verb, but in Russia, the object performs that verb on you’ Not only is it a fun play on words, but it plays off American perceptions of Russia as a strict police-state Commonly misattributed to 80s comedian Yakov Smirnoff, it was first popularized on the 60’s show ‘Laugh In’, where the recurring character Piotr Rosmenko quipped ‘""In old country, television watches you"" While the Cold War experienced a period of low conflict in this era, anti-russian propaganda like this showcased the ongoing tension between the countries However, what appears to be the joke’s actual origin was the line ‘In Soviet Russia, messenger tips you!’ This appeared in a 1938 American musical called ‘Leave It to Me!’, 7 whole years before the cold war

All giving an idea of the sentiments that precipitated and encouraged the almost 50 year conflict 5 Dumb Blonde Jokes In this joke, the word ‘blonde’ is effectively used a substitute for ‘stupid’ For example, ‘Why did the blonde tiptoe past the medicine cabinet? So she didn’t wake the sleeping pills’ The joke content varies, but all work on the assumption that blondes, specifically women, aren’t very clever

This idea originates from the ‘dumb blonde’ stereotype, often wrongly attributed to Marilyn Monroe While the American cliche was popularized by Monroe in the 1953 film ‘Gentlemen Prefer Blondes’, its source can be traced across the Atlantic From the 18th century, a Parisian sex-worker called Rosalie Duthé [Doo-they] is considered to be ‘the original dumb blonde’ Duthé was characterised by her long, vacant pauses, and was immortalized in a play called ‘Les Curiosites de la Foire’, publicizing the first ever dumb blonde jokes 4

That's What She Said The phrase ‘That’s what she said’ is typically used after someone has said something innocuous that could be, let’s say ‘taken the wrong way’ And you guessed it, that’s what she said It’s first documented American use was by Chevy Chase in the first ever series of Saturday Night Live in 1975 It’s more likely you’ve heard the phrase from Michael Scott in the US Office, but, as with the show, the line derives from what some would call a much funnier British version The original British phrase is ‘As the actress said to the bishop’, and dates back as far as 1901

Emerging from Edwardian Britain, this refers to the fact that some actresses of the time could be purchased for the evening after the show The actress would then confess her sins to a clergyman the following day, which is the conversation people were referencing in the first ever ‘That’s what she said’ jokes 3 Waiter Jokes The ‘Waiter’ premise revolves around a diner in a restaurant addressing their server with a complaint, most famously a fly in the soup, and the waiter’s humorous or unhelpful response For instance, the waiter might respond ‘Don’t worry, how much soup can a fly drink?’ It’s commonly believed that this construct originates from an actual restaurant called Lindy’s

Established in New York in 1921, the restaurant was famous for the witty backchat of its waiters, and the waiter joke format is thought to have been born in the establishment As for the ‘fly’ aspect of the joke, its roots go back to the early 16th century The book One Hundred Renaissance Jokes, cites an epigram by Sir Thomas More, where a banquet guest finds a fly in his wine He removes the fly, takes a drink, then replaces it, passing the drink on saying: 'I don't like flies myself, but perhaps some of you chaps do' 2

Yo’ Mama The aim of the yo’ mama joke is to insult the person who gave birth to your opponent, effectively undermining their whole existence The format is as follows: ‘Yo’ mama is so something, that she something For example ‘So dumb she put lipstick on her forehead to make up her mind’ These were popularized in 1930’s inner city America, by African Americans who played a game called the Dozens One of the precursors for the invention of freestyle rap, it saw two people trade insults until one ran out

Due to the importance of mothers in African families, jokes about them were seen as the lowest blow one could serve In 1976, the Journal of Black Studies attributed the game’s origin to a Nigerian game called Ikocha Nkocha, which translates to ‘making disparaging remarks’ The American name comes from the The New Orleans slave trade, where deformed slaves were sold in groups of ‘cheap dozens’, considered the lowest position a slave could occupy 1 Knock-Knock! Knock knock

Who’s there? Wooden shoe Wooden shoe who? Wooden shoe like to know! While it may not always make for the most hilarious punchline, this format is one of the most well known in the history of amateur comedy No points for guessing its origins lie before the invention of the doorbell, but they actually go as far as the 1930s During the prohibition of alcohol in America, illegal bars known as ‘speakeasies’ established an entry system, where patrons would knock and give a secret password when prompted According to joke historian Charlie Orr, as the night wore on, drunk patrons would get increasingly creative with the password custom

From this, a challenge emerged for the knocker to think up the funniest possible response to the question ‘who’s there?’ And thus, the ‘knock knock’ joke was born So that was 10 Origins of Famous Jokes What's your best joke? Do you know where it came from? Let us know in the comments and make sure to like and subscribe While you’re at it, check out this great Alltime10s video on screen now

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